No. 14 Villanova Uses Early 3s To Knock Off St. John’s 73-62

VILLANOVA, Pa.: Collin Gillespie scored 17 points, Eric Dixon and Caleb Daniels each had 15 and No. 14 Villanova used a 3-point happy first half to roll to a 73-62 win over St. Johns on Saturday night.

The Wildcats (16-5, 9-2 Big East) put this one away with a decisive 19-2 run and nine 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes to cruise to their third straight win.

The Wildcats are headed into the teeth of their conference schedule as the perennial powerhouse is instead in a fight for the conference championship. They open the month with consecutive games against ranked teams, Marquette and Connecticut. The Golden Eagles snapped just last week Villanovas 29-game winning streak at the Pavilion. There are games against ranked Providence and UConn that soon follow in a rugged February.

If the Wildcats hit 3s like they did early against the Red Storm (11-8, 3-5), they should be fine.

Villanovas offense was actually on the fritz for the start and were tied 17-all with St. Johns, a tough start a season after the Red Storm pulled off an upset at Carnesecca Arena.

Justin Moore hit a 3 to start the run, one of five 3s during the game-changing charge that put the Wildcats in control. The best sequence during the run came on a Moore 3 off a turnover. The Wildcats then forced a turnover when Gillespie saved a tipped ball by spiking it in bounds. Villanova pounced and Daniels hit a 3 for a 33-19 lead.

The Wildcats made 9 of 12 3s in the first half and led by 18.

Montez Mathis led St. Johns with 14 points The Red Storm missed 10 of 12 3s in the first half and shot just 40% from the floor overall. Julian Champagnie, who led the team in scoring with 19.5 points, was held to just nine and missed all four 3s.


St. Johns: The Red Storm started a stretch of four games in eight days, three of which are on the road. The only home game this week is against a ranked Providence team. Keep an eye out for an upset, the Red Storm are 2-0 at home against Providence under coach Mike Anderson.

Villanova: Moore scored eight points and fell two shy of 1,000 for his career. Moore had been on a tear of late and averaged 17.1 points over his last nine games. The junior guard was named Big East player of the week in early January and helped the Wildcats go 8-1 this month.


St. Johns: Hosts No. 17 Providence on Tuesday. The Red Storm are 0-3 against Top 25 teams.

Villanova: Play Wednesday at No. 22 Marquette.


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